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Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 8.52.42 AMFor the last few years my firm has entered work in the Videographer Awards. We produce a ton of physician and patient videos, so this is a natural for us. As hospitals, health systems and physician practices gradually come to recognize the power of video content, more and more high quality video production is taking place within the healthcare industry. The Videographer Awards competition represents an inexpensive way to have your work recognized in a national competition. And there are categories specifically for medical industry submissions. To qualify for this year’s competition, entries should be completed online or postmarked by July 17, 2015. Results will be posted on August 1. If you need an extension, call 214.377.3527 or Email info@videoawards.com.

logoOne of the things I like about this competition is that the entries can all be handled online! Nothing has to go in the mail; you can simply upload your videos or provide a URL. Virtually any digital file is acceptable. A single video can be submitted in multiple categories. To be eligible for a Videographer Award, each entry must have been produced in the last two years. The Videographer Awards respects the proprietary nature of your information. The Videographer Awards assumes that you have rights to materials and the authority to enter them. Entries are seen by the judges only. Each entry is destroyed before disposal.

Judging for The Videographer Awards will be done this year by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). AMCP is a third party evaluator of creative work by marketing and communication professionals and has been judging competitions for two decades. AMCP judges are chosen based on their extensive experience and proven creativity in the video field.

There are three types of awards: Award of Excellence, Award of Distinction and Honorable Mention. The Videographer Award of Excellence is awarded to those entries whose ability to capture the event or communicate the message is exceptional. The Award of Distinction is presented for projects that exceed industry standards, while Honorable Mention is awarded to projects that uphold industry standards.

Good luck in the competition!

GawandephotoLast Saturday I spent the afternoon reading Atul Gawande‘s Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.  I have long admired Dr. Gawande’s writings, and turn to him as one of my go-to thought leaders in medicine. If you’re not familiar with Dr. Gawande, he is a surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He is Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gawande has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1998 and has written four New York Times bestsellers: Complications, Better, The Checklist Manifesto, and now, Being Mortal.  Here’s a link to one of his Ted Talks: How Do We Heal Medicine?

Being Mortal, the text, is about the need to do more within the field of medicine to address the “well-being” of patients – shifting from a maniacal focus on fixing, repairing and survival. According to Dr. Gawande, “We’ve been wrong about what our job is in medicine. We think our job is to ensure health and survival. But really it is larger than that. It is to enable well-being. And well-being is about the reasons one wishes to be alive. Those reasons matter not just at the end of life, or when debility comes, but all along the way.” (Being Mortal, P. 259)

“The simple view is that medicine exists to fight death and disease, and that is, of course, its most basic task. Death is the enemy. But the enemy has superior forces. Eventually, it wins. And in a war that you cannot win, you don’t want a general who fights to the point of total annihilation. You don’t want a Custer. You want a Robert E. Lee, someone who knows how to fight for territory that can be won and how to surrender it when it can’t, someone who understands that the damage is greatest if all you do is battle to the bitter end.” (Being Mortal, p. 187.)

So what brand of physician do you want when you face the end: A Custer or a Robert E. Lee? It is an important consideration – even if we don’t like thinking about it. What does matter most in the end?

Throughout this text, Gawande kept me captivated with a series of well told stories, including that of his father’s decline and eventual death. This is an exceptional text. I was reminded of Dr. McCullough’s text, My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing Slow Medicine, The Compassionate Approach to Caring for your Aging Loved Ones.

It must be my age, and the age of my parents, but I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the way we care for the elderly and for those with terminal illnesses. Some of my favorites, beyond Dennis McCullough’s text, include:

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 10.17.22 AMI had to share this Boston Globe article with you: Running a Hospital is a Women’s Job. It is about the number of women running healthcare organizations in Boston. As someone who works for a number of hospitals and health systems in eastern Massachusetts, this is something I have always appreciated. (Check out my earlier blog post titled “How My Mother Prepared Me for A Career in Healthcare.”)

There are several powerful female healthcare executives in Massachusetts not mentioned in this article. I’m fortunate to work with Dianne J. Anderson, President and CEO of Lawrence General Hospital. In Dianne’s organization, there’s an entire team of powerful female leaders (some good men as well). I’ve also had the pleasure of interacting with Lynn Nicholas, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Hospital Association. And there are more that I won’t list here.

In healthcare marketing, I’m used to seeing powerful, smart women leading the marketing initiatives of an organization. I love working with them and learning from them. However, it is also nice to see highly capable women actually running hospitals, health systems and other healthcare operations. It needs to happen more frequently beyond Massachusetts.

What is population health? The term is widely used in the health care world, but it is not universally understood as one single definition.

MHA@GW, the online master of health administration at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, surveyed over 100 health care professionals to create a dialogue around how to define population health. Read “What is Population Health?” to learn about the responses from health administrators, insurers, consultants, and academics, the common trends among the definitions, and how population health impacts care today. Below is the text of their post (I am sharing it with the permission of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University). What I find most interesting about this report is the varying ways in which the health care professionals define population health.

What Is Population Health?

Population Health Banner_V4_1
“Population health.” It is a term that is widely used in the health care world, but not universally understood. Some definitions of population health emphasize outcomes. Others focus on measurement. Still others emphasize accountability. So what does population health truly mean? Who is responsible? What impact does it have on our current health care environment?

In recognition that there is no uniform definition of this important and emergent concept, we sought out to create a new dialogue featuring a variety of thought leaders in the field. We reached out to over 100 health care leaders and asked them to define the term “population health.” What follows are their responses.

What We Learned

The concept of population health first came about in 2003 when David Kindig and Greg Stoddart defined it as “the health outcome of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group.” While accurate, some complain this definition focuses strictly on the measurement of health outcomes without explaining or acknowledging the role that health care providers must take to impact those outcomes.

Population Health Graph_V3_2

Our survey reflected that notion. Of the 37 leaders who participated, only two people directly cited Kingdig and Stoddard’s original definition. While interpretation and understanding of the phrase “population health” differed greatly in the responses we received, many did view it as an opportunity for health care systems, agencies and organizations to work together in order to improve the health outcomes of the communities they serve. Two other key trends and questions we observed include:

  • A question of responsibility. Do the health outcomes of a specific population rely on the behaviors of the population? The actions of the provider? Or both?
  • A take on Triple Aim. Several participants referenced the Triple Aim Initiative, an approach developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement for optimizing health system performance.

What’s Next

Population Health Word Cloud_V2While we may not have reached a universal consensus on what “population health” means, we discovered that now is the time to think differently — not only about the definition of population health — but also about the way health care is delivered. In our ever-evolving health care environment, perhaps the “traditional way” may not be the right answer.

We welcome discussion regarding the ideas we present here and look forward to creating an ongoing, open dialogue about the role population health plays in the health care industry today.

Participants

  1. Wayne Brackin, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Baptist Health South Florida
  2. Paul Brashnyk, MPH, Interim Director of Clinic Operations, UW Neighborhood Clinics
  3. Fred L. Brown, LFACHE, Chairman, Fred L. Brown & Associates, LLC
  4. Brian Churchill, Director of Clinical Content and Decision Support, PeaceHealth
  5. Todd M. Cohen, Director, AtSite Inc.
  6. Dr. Kenneth Cohn, CEO, Healthcare Collaboration
  7. Dr. Dennis R. Delisle, Director of Operations and Support, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
  8. Gigi DeSouki, MHA, Founder/CEO, Wellness On Wheels, Inc.
  9. Jack Friedman, CEO, Providence Health Plan
  10. Richard J. Gilfillan, MD, President and CEO, Trinity Health
  11. Jim Goes, Managing Partner, Cybernos LLC
  12. David Harlow, Principal (Attorney & Consultant), The Harlow Group LLC
  13. Jay Henry, Chairman & CEO, The James Marshall Group
  14. Dr. Patrick Herson, President, Fairview Medical Group
  15. Jay Higgins, Senior Director of Network Strategy and Surgical Program Development, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  16. Ryan Jensen, CEO, The Memorial Hospital of Salem County
  17. Tammie Jones, Senior Health Policy Officer, US Army Office of The Surgeon General
  18. Dr. Christy Harris Lemak, Professor and Chair, the Health Services Administration Department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
  19. Dr. Stephen Martin, Executive Director, Association for Community Health Improvement
  20. Dr. Larry Mullins, President and CEO, Samaritan Health Services
  21. Roy J. Orr, Director of Business Development and Supply Chain Services, Salem Health
  22. Joseph Paduda, Principal, Health Strategy Associates
  23. Bonnie Panlasigui, Chief Administrative Officer, Alameda Hospital
  24. David C. Pate, MD, JD, President and CEO, St. Luke’s Health System
  25. Janet Porter, Principal, Stroudwater Associates
  26. Barry Ronan, President & CEO, Western Maryland Health System
  27. David Rubenstein, FACHE, Clinical Associate Professor, Texas State University
  28. Kathryn Ruscitto, CEO, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center
  29. Marie Savard, MD, Managing Director of Health Care Practice, Diversified Search
  30. Dr. Nancy Seifert, Instructor, Oregon State University
  31. Dr. Peter Slavin, President, Massachusetts General Hospital
  32. Mari K. Stout, MHSA, Quality Improvement/Provider Engagement Specialist, ATRIO Health Plans
  33. Amy Stowers, CEO, OptimizeIT Consulting
  34. Quint Studer, Founder, Studer Group
  35. Bahaa Wanly, Administrator, UW Medicine
  36. Jennifer Weiss Wilkerson, Vice President, MedStar Health
  37. Dr. Stephanie Works, Senior Medical Director, Providence Medical Group

Wayne Brackin

Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Baptist Health South Florida

“My definition is practical. You need to define the population and decide what it is you’re going to manage and what doctors are needed. To be more specific, let me give you an example. A partnership was created with Florida International University College of Medicine and Baptist Health South Florida/South Miami Hospital to care for 100 disadvantaged families in a defined neighborhood adjacent to the hospital. It is a defined population, there are identifiable needs that can be measured and a combination of providers from the medical school and the hospital will manage the families. That is a working definition of population health management.”

Paul Brashnyk, MPH

Interim Director of Clinic Operations, UW Neighborhood Clinics

“Population health is taking responsibility for managing the overall health of a defined population and being accountable for the health outcomes of that defined population.”

Fred L. Brown, LFACHE

Chairman, Fred L. Brown & Associates, LLC

“Population health is improving the health of a defined population.”

Brian Churchill

Director of Clinical Content and Decision Support, PeaceHealth

“The goal of population health is to improve the quality of care and outcomes while managing costs for a defined group of people. The defined group of people and the health management interventions can be identified by demographic differences, health needs such as chronic diseases or disabilities, or the health needs of the underserved.”

Todd M. Cohen

Director, AtSite Inc.

“Population health signals a change in the way health care is accessed, provided and utilized — a move away from reactive responses to an individual’s health needs. The concept marks a fundamental shift towards outcomes-based, proactive approaches to a given population with attention directed toward larger, socially grouped needs and prevention efforts while reducing disparity and variation in care delivery.”

Dr. Kenneth Cohn

CEO, Healthcare Collaboration

“To me, population health involves the health of the community; it implies wellness promotion as well as the treatment of new and chronic illnesses throughout the care continuum. It also implies improving the health of people previously undermanaged, such as the poor in terms of conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.”

Dr. Dennis R. Delisle

Director of Operations and Support, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals

“Accountability for the health and utilization of health care services of a defined population of individuals across the care continuum, from preventative to acute to post-acute settings.”

Gigi DeSouki, MHA

Founder/CEO, Wellness On Wheels, Inc.

“Individual responsibility for physical, mental, spiritual and social health. When each person takes control of his or her health, it reflects on our families and society as a whole.”

Jack Friedman

CEO, Providence Health Plan

“Population health is the acknowledgement that the goal of all health system stakeholders is to do the most good for the most people at the least amount of cost. It requires a primary care centered model that incentivizes all providers to measure their clinical performance at the population level, and it requires interface between public and private institutions along with local community engagement. Population longevity and broad values around quality of life are the ultimate measures of success and performance.”

Richard J. Gilfillan, MD

President and CEO, Trinity Health

“Population health refers to addressing the health status of a defined population. A population can be defined in many different ways including demographics, clinical diagnoses, geographic location, etc. Population health management is a clinical discipline that develops, implements and continually refines operational activities that improve the measures of health status for defined populations. At Trinity Health, we measure the health status of a population using the Triple Aim of better health, better care and lower costs.”

Jim Goes

Managing Partner, Cybernos LLC

“I think of population health as an approach to develop research that addresses the needs of both the overall population of a state, country or region and the health of important sub-populations that can be differentiated by ethnicity, gender, health status or even economic status.”

David Harlow

Principal (Attorney & Consultant), The Harlow Group LLC

“’Population health’ is both a means and an end. The goal is to improve the collective health status of the population at large in a given geographic area. That goal can only be accomplished through a combination of (1) behavior change, which has to be promoted in a tailored manner, using an array of appropriate tools — not only through traditional health care channels — to different subsets of the population (chronically-ill elders, new moms, engaged patients, millenials, baby-boomer weekend warriors, etc.), and (2) evidence-based medicine focused both on prevention and treatment of injury and disease and on improving function and happiness for the individuals who make up the population.”

Jay Henry

Chairman & CEO, The James Marshall Group

“The overall mental and physical state of health for a defined group of people.”

Dr. Patrick Herson

President, Fairview Medical Group

“Population health is an approach to improving outcomes of a defined population. We have defined outcomes as the Triple Aim — cost, quality and experience.”

Jay Higgins

Senior Director of Network Strategy and Surgical Program Development, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

“Population health is keeping people healthy in a coordinated fashion for better clinical outcomes at a lower cost. It is a ‘proactive’ solution (with personalized care and a focus on wellness) in an industry that has thrived on being ‘reactive’ (delays in treatment resulting in sicker patients, ordering unnecessary tests and sending patients to emergency departments due to primary care access challenges).”

Ryan Jensen

CEO, The Memorial Hospital of Salem County

“Population health signifies the movement from a silo-focused delivery of medicine to a communal effort with the purpose of improving the overall health outcomes of a population.”

Tammie Jones

Senior Health Policy Officer, US Army Office of The Surgeon General

“Population health is a visionary statement that gives a sense of what we want for our population. A health status that allows individuals in our communities to serve one another to their greatest ability.”

Dr. Christy Harris Lemak

Professor and Chair, the Health Services Administration Department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

“Understanding (measuring) the health of a defined population (community, covered life population, set of patients) to include all aspects of health (physical, mental, etc.) and to include the underlying determinants of that health (e.g., poverty, housing, nutrition, exercise, pollution) and, most importantly, working to improve the health of that population.”

Dr. Stephen Martin

Executive Director, Association for Community Health Improvement

“Population health is the health outcomes of a defined group of people, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group (Kindig et al).”

Dr. Larry Mullins

President and CEO, Samaritan Health Services

“Some would define it as determining the health of a defined group or population using health care modifiers to help make that determination. An easier answer might be just taking care of our family, friends and neighbors on a larger scale.”

Roy J. Orr

Director of Business Development and Supply Chain Services, Salem Health

“Population health is the health status or outcome of a group of people. The distribution of various conditions throughout the group allows for an improved understanding of a particular population’s health.”

Joseph Paduda

Principal, Health Strategy Associates

“A measure of and policies affecting the overall well-being of the residents of a defined area.”

Bonnie Panlasigui

Chief Administrative Officer, Alameda Hospital

“We are entering a population tsunami. For example, California will be one of the first ‘minority majority’ states in the country. How we respond to diversity in the population is key … the social inequities are the social determinants of health that impact pre-hospital chronic disease management, post-hospital surgery outcomes and readmissions — all factors that have an operational impact on a hospital.”

David C. Pate, MD, JD

President and CEO, St. Luke’s Health System

“Population health encompasses the programs, services, tactics and initiatives that a population health manager (e.g., a health system or an accountable care organization) utilizes in order to assume the accountability for the outcomes of care and the cost of that care for an entire population or subpopulation of people, only some of whom may currently be patients.”

Janet Porter

Principal, Stroudwater Associates

“Population health is the analysis and design of interventions and management of large groups of citizens focused on improving their health status.”

Barry Ronan

President & CEO, Western Maryland Health System

“Population health involves transitioning care delivery to a model that is value based which includes focusing on better case management of those patients with multiple co-morbidities, partnering in care delivery with other providers, including previous competitors, better managing overall utilization and caring for patients in the most appropriate setting, not necessarily acute care.”

David Rubenstein, FACHE

Clinical Associate Professor, Texas State University

“I’m comfortable with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) definition which describes population health as ‘the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group (Kindig and Stoddart, 2003).’”

Kathryn Ruscitto

CEO, Joseph’s Hospital Health Center

“Population health means taking an analytical approach to understanding the health needs, disparities and outcomes of the community and to align improvement initiatives.”

Marie Savard, MD

Managing Director of Health Care Practice, Diversified Search

“Assuming total health and health care responsibility for a group of individuals and empowering them with health information and tools with an emphasis on personalized prevention and self-management programs. From my experience, it is managing care for the right reasons and improved health of the patient versus for economic reasons alone, which was the primary motivation of past attempts in population health.”

Dr. Nancy Seifert

Instructor, Oregon State University

“Population health is the collaborative efforts among all health care professionals within a population that measures patient outcomes, builds on best practices and monitors access.”

Dr. Peter Slavin

President, Massachusetts General Hospital

“Population health is a management approach to redesigning the care for a group of people with the aims of making their care better and more efficient.”

Mari K. Stout, MHSA

Quality Improvement/Provider Engagement Specialist, ATRIO Health Plans

“Population health: Managing the system of activities focused on improving health outcomes for a collection of individuals (a population) by identifying care gaps based on evidence-based guidelines, understanding barriers and developing systems/teams that can help make the right thing the easy thing for individual patients and providers.”

Amy Stowers

CEO, OptimizeIT Consulting

“Any definition of population health is evolving and thought provoking, in the most serious context possible, because every human as a member of the global population deserves the right to the foundational elements necessary to be healthy. Foundational elements are both basic and unique to populations; therefore, it is essential for the elements to be identified and provided in an unrelenting manner that mitigates any negative impact to the health of populations.”

Quint Studer

Founder, Studer Group

“I prefer to use the term ‘people health,’ meaning each individual should be as healthy as possible.”

Bahaa Wanly

Administrator, UW Medicine

“Effectively taking responsibility for the health care of populations of patients to ensure high-quality, efficient health care at the lowest possible cost for the population.”

Jennifer Weiss Wilkerson

Vice President, MedStar Health

“Population health is an approach to managing the health of a population — a community, a group of employees, insurance plan enrollees, etc. — in order to improve the health outcomes of each member of that population. Population health is also about providing value — the highest possible outcome at the lowest possible cost.”

Dr. Stephanie Works

Senior Medical Director, Providence Medical Group

“Population health is a concept placing emphasis on addressing multiple health determinants for a group of individuals, such that the overall health of the group improves.”

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 8.56.44 AM

The submission deadline for the 2015 eHealthcare Leadership Awards is June 30th, just a couple of weeks away. (Late entries will be accepted through 07/15/2015 with $50 late fee.) This leading awards program, sponsored by Strategic Health Care Communications, drew over 1,000 entries last year. It recognizes the very best websites and digital communications of healthcare organizations, online health companies, pharmaceutical/medical equipment firms, suppliers, and business improvement initiatives. Here are the organization’s ten reasons for entering the competition:

1. This is the preeminent and largest awards program that exclusively honors the very best healthcare sites, digital efforts, and business development initiatives.

2. With 17 different organizational classifications, you only compete against others of similar size and resources.

3. There are 15 award categories to enter, offering many opportunities to select your particular area or areas of excellence. There are two new categories this year!

4. Platinum, gold, silver, and distinction awards may be given in every classification for each of the 15 award categories.

5. Entries will be judged by individuals familiar with healthcare and the Internet.

6. Even if your site won last year, it makes sense to apply again. Demonstrate that it is still one of the best.

7. Sites do not have to be fully launched at the time of entry. Judging doesn’t start until later in July/early August.

8. Intranets can be judged without direct access.

9. Entries are accepted until June 30 without late fee penalties.

10. Winners will be honored this fall during the Nineteenth Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in Orlando, FL and in many other ways.

For detailed information and to complete an entry form, visit eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 4.39.39 PM

I want to start out this post by saying that physician relations/referring physician marketing is perhaps the most neglected area within healthcare marketing and yet promises the largest return on investment. Organizations throw money at consumer advertising while short changing their investment in communicating with referring physicians. For the last several years I have been on a rant about our industry’s failings in the area of physician relations. Here’s a link to one of my blog posts, Digital Physician Relations: Moving Beyond a Model of Interruption, where I explore the subject and share a video where I present my views to an audience of physician liaisons.

A year ago I had the honor of being a keynote speaker at the annual conference of the American Association of Physician Liaisons (AAPL) in Seattle. I shared my “Digital Physician Relations” presentation – one I developed together with Lyle Green at MD Anderson. I can remember very clearly being the late afternoon keynote speaker who was standing between conference attendees and the cocktail reception! Nonetheless, the presentation was well received and that attendees were gracious.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 4.39.17 PMThis year the AAPL conference is being held in Charlotte, NC. I had such a positive experience at last year’s conference, that I decided to have my company exhibit at this year’s show. So this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday you will find myself and a representative of Jennings (Mike Dowd) manning our trade show booth at the AAPL Conference.

It should be a great conference and I hope to see you there. Several of my firm’s clients are sending their physician liaisons, so it will be fun reconnecting with them. If you see us at the show, please come up and say hello.

This notion of healthcare marketing as a public trust occurred to me last week as I was conducting 21 on-camera interviews with patients, hospital employees and physicians. These people trust us to tell their stories in an honest and compelling manner. It really is an amazing level of trust they put in us as communicators and storytellers. It is an honor and a privilege to both craft and share those stories with various audiences.

But the trust I’m talking about is the trust that the public has that the information we present through our marketing is honest and presented in a fashion that represents their best interest. It should not be intended to confuse the target audience; nor should it over-complicate an already complicated topic.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 9.41.28 AMEven with all the moves toward transparency and the sharing of quality data, my belief is that we still do more to confuse than to clarify. We promote the data that suits our needs – that tells the story we want to tell. (Some of it is a problem with data.) I visit towns and cities all over America and see billboards where each hospital is claiming to be #1 on some quality survey or measure. (Should we promote LeapFrog data, CMS data or some other survey?) What does it all mean to consumers? What are they to make of all these claims? And how do we truly compare health outcomes for a major academic medical center (AMC) with those of a small community hospital? Aren’t there times when the community hospitals do better because the AMC’s are getting the most complicated cases?

Hospitals then add potentially more confusion by promoting hospital rankings such as U.S. News & World Report, Consumer Reports, or Healthgrades. These services/reports do not always agree with one another. Check out this article in The Wall Street Journal: What Are the Best Hospitals? Rankings Disagree. These rankings lead to more billboards and ads with hospitals claiming supremacy in some clinical area or quality standard.

“The measures were so divergent that 27 hospitals were simultaneously rated among the nation’s best by one service and among the worst by another.” (Source: The Wall Street Journal, “What are the Best Hospitals? Rankings Disagree.” March 2, 2015)

It is hard to argue against better informed consumers. Sharing data with them is a good thing. However, I believe we have a long way to go in developing truly meaningful and thoughtful ways to share this data with healthcare consumers. How do we do it in a manner that removes confusion and clarifies important questions about quality, expertise and pricing?

As healthcare communicators and marketers we do have a public trust. I feel strongly that each of us should approach our jobs, each day, with that in mind. It would lead to us sharing better information with the communities we serve. We should strive to help consumers with their decision-making, not manipulate or confuse them. When a hospital runs one of those “We’re Number One” billboards (knowing that all the other hospitals in the market are doing the same thing), I don’t believe that they are intentionally trying to confuse or mislead consumers, but I also don’t think they are clearly thinking through their obligation to share meaningful information with their constituents.

This is only going to get more complicated as more hospitals begin sharing quality and pricing data – and as more entities enter into the hospital and physician rating game. As we move forward, let’s keep the best interest of the consumer/patient in the foreground.

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